Sunday, October 15, 2017

Find a Team and Hang On

I had posted a comment concerning the recent ALCS (American League Championship Series) game between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees, and a good friend of mine responded on Facebook with “I can’t believe you can bear to watch these games!”

Where our Indians flag was displayed

That friend is not anti-baseball. She is a hurt Cleveland Indians fan. And being that the Indians lost the American League Division Series in Game Five against the New York Yankees (which means, for those of you not really following baseball, that their season is OVER), watching any baseball game without Chief Wahoo represented is a bit painful.

Where it is displayed now . . . 

I can’t blame her. But I responded, “I’m rooting for the Astros to beat the Yankees and the Dodgers to beat the Cubs. And then the Astros to beat the Dodgers. If Cleveland isn’t in it, I’m still going to love the game. Find a team to root for and hang on!”

And that is the way to get over the hurt of losing: find a team to root for and hang on.

That’s not exactly difficult for me. I love the game of baseball. I really do. As I’ve written before, my wife and I like to attend minor league games whenever we can. When we go we root, root, root for the home team. We are big time Toledo Mudhens fans, and they are the AAA team for the Detroit Tigers. Now, if we were to attend a Mudhens / Clippers game (the AAA team in Columbus for the Cleveland Indians) in Toledo, we’d be hard pressed to root for the Mudhens. Fortunately, we haven’t been put in that situation (yet)!

So, even though the Indians are out of it, I’m still going to enjoy the game. This means I had to find a team to root for.

I have a Twitter friend (@BritniB714) who is from Houston. Knowing her beloved Astros are in it, I’m rooting for them. Besides. They are playing against the team that beat the Indians (the New York Yankees), so that makes it easy. In the National League, it’s the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Chicago Cubs. Since the Cubs beat the Indians in Game Seven of the World Series last year, rooting for the Dodgers is easy too. And once the World Series starts, it’s American League all the way, baby!

This past weekend we got to enjoy a few games. We watched the Astros win the first two of their series, and the Dodgers win the first of theirs. We’ve been really excited over here! Great games.

When watching the Indians during their post-season, the games have been played on a different network than normal. We love the Sportstime Ohio commentators. They are Cleveland fans, obviously, but that doesn’t mean they talk down the opposing team. They call a good game. If a good play is made, they praise it. If errors are made, they call them. They tell stories in between pitches covering players from both teams. A great group of guys.

When the post-season started, we started listening to the MLB.com app audio stream. This allowed us the ability to listen to a local radio station instead of the (non-Sportstime Ohio) TV announcers. And unlike using the radio, the audio and video sync is close enough to not drive you crazy.

After the Indians were out of it, I’d listen (in the Jeep) to the Houston announcers call the Astros/Yankees games. Great fun.

This past weekend, my wife and I were staying at the Punderson State Park Lodge. So, we caught the games on whatever channel was playing them - along with listening to the announcers of that particular channel.

During the Cubs/Dodgers game (played in Los Angeles), a play occurred that was a bit controversial. Not only was the play controversial, one of the announcers couldn’t help but provide some “color commentary” that really annoyed me.

Let me explain:

The Dodgers were up to bat. They had a man on second base. The batter hit out to left field, where Schwarber fielded it and threw it ALL THE WAY to home plate, just as the runner made it all the way from second to home. The catcher, stuck his left leg out, blocking the runner from being able to tag the base. The runner had to go around the catcher, missing the base completely, and the catcher stood up and tagged the runner. An out.

That play was challenged and overturned. He was safe. The reason being that the catcher is NOT allowed to block the path of the runner, UNLESS he had to in order to catch the ball. The catcher clearly did not have to.

Now, the rule was upheld and the Dodgers got the run. The Cubs coach got so mad he yelled at the umpire just enough to get thrown out of the game. (imagine a fist-pump emoji here)

The part that got me so annoyed was that the TV announcer (obviously a Cubs fan) said that he understood the rule, but it took away the “athleticism of the game”. The rule is recent and for years that would have been a good play by the catcher.

Really?!?

I’m no sports announcer. I’m just a simple fan. And apparently, unlike the announcer, I wasn't there in 1846 when baseball got started. So, I really should give him the benefit of the doubt.

Bulls**t!

If a catcher blocking the plate is considered the “athleticism of the game”, then the runner should be able to PLOW that catcher over - cleats first. Just like the old days. Is that what the announcer meant?

I’m almost sure that he would consider today’s football also missing the “athleticism of the game”. After all, they don’t wear leather helmets anymore, and they use all of that stupid padding!

It’s announcers like that that make watching the game so exasperating.

But it’s baseball. And I love the game. So, I am going to find a team to root for and hang on!

And so should you.

© Emittravel 2017

Sunday, October 8, 2017

There’s No Time Like . . . Yesterday

So, yesterday morning I made a visit to the local BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) in order to buy myself an “early” birthday present. Yeah. “Happy birthday to me. Get tags for a fee.” I seriously believe that the state has no idea how birthdays are supposed to work.

Afterwards, I joined my wife in our sun porch for some coffee and a couple of donuts. Coffee and donuts. Either that is the perfect Saturday breakfast, or I unconsciously want to be a cop. . .

Anywho, during our conversation I came upon a great topic for my blog. So, I decided that I’d write about that. Tomorrow.

It’s tomorrow. And I have NO idea what that topic was. And even if I was able to determine it (my wife being a great resource for my memory losses), the impact of the topic is lost.

Back when my writing consisted mostly of poetry, I knew that if I felt an emotion, I would either need to drop everything and start writing, or that emotion would eventually dissipate and I would have nothing from which to write. In other words, my muse would walk out and I’d be left alone with nothing to work with.

The same thing applies to writing this blog; though this is more a pressure cooker relief valve than an emotionally creative outlet.

I guess the lesson is that if you do anything that gets its inspiration from something fleeting, you either make that doing a priority (drop everything - NOW), or you will lose the muse.

Are you the creative type? What do you do that is dependent upon “external” influences? Drop me a comment or reply. I’d love to hear it.

Now, what WAS it that I was planning on writing about?!?

© Emittravel 2017

Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Tip of the Cap

As I write this, the Cleveland Indians are playing their last game of the regular season.

The last game.

Well, fortunately, NOT the last game of the year. Just the regular season.

At this point in the season the Indians have secured their spot in the postseason as the American League Central Division Champions. They will play the winner of the Wild Card Game and hopefully make it all the way to the World Series!

Now, as a Tribe fan, I have to admit that I REALLY hope they go all the way and win the World Series. Not even remotely shy about that. But as a baseball fan, I’m telling you that the number one reason I’m excited is that baseball (at least for Cleveland) is not over at the end of the game today.

Just before today’s game, the Cleveland Browns went ahead and secured the 0-4 stat after losing to the Cincinnati Bengals 31-7. And no, I didn’t give much time or attention to the game. You see, football is what you watch when there is no baseball.

I have so enjoyed this regular season. I’ve watched more baseball than last year - including five times AT Progressive Field for a home game. (Yes, I’m toying with the idea of becoming a season ticket holder . . . But don’t tell my wife!) I’ve loved nights where my wife and I have gone out to a local Tavern to enjoy dinner, catching several innings. To listen to more innings on the drive home on the radio - gotta love Tom Hamilton (@TomHamiltonCLE) excitement and Jim Rosenhaus’ (@IndiansRadio) insights! Then finishing the game at home watching SportsTime Ohio (@SportsTimeOhio) with play-by-play calls (and in-between banter) by Rick Manning and Matt Underwood (@stomattu). And who doesn’t love the interviews, fun, and rivalry with mascot Mustard, of Andre Knott (@DreKnott)?!?

Then, once the game has ended, It’s time for the post-game Indians Live show with AL Pawlowski (@AlPawlowski) and Jensen Lewis (@JLEWFifty).

Sure, those guys will be there pre- and post-game throughout the rest of the postseason, but it won’t be the same as hearing them IN the games calling the plays. For that we’ll miss you guys.

Even more than watching the game, it’s enjoying it with other fans. And the Cleveland Indians have the best fans in the world. Be it at the ballpark, or in the tavern, the energy and joy is contagious.

The game is almost over. It’s the top of the 9th. Win or lose, I’m proud of these guys. Go all the way or not does not matter overall. It’s the professionalism and joy with which they have played this game where they have truly hit one out of the park.

Thanks guys.

© Emittravel 2017

Sunday, September 24, 2017

In Your Embrace

The following was originally posted on Renderosity.com on September 19, 2005:

In Your Embrace

Warm hands.
Soft skin.
Tender heart.
I lose myself
(and find myself)
deep in your embrace.
You’ve captured
my thoughts,
and made them
your own.
So much alike,
in love and ideas.
A mirror image
that’s a window to the soul.
If I be asleep,
and you just a dream,
smother my life,
that the dream might not end.
Be this the guidance
of simple fantasy,
or the loving hand
of the Lord above,
I pursue you with vigor.
To surrender my heart,
place them as one.
So one may nourish
the other
(So the other may nourish
the one).
That the two will blossom
on a single stem.
Let me hold you in my arms,
to feel the beat of your heart.
For mine grows faster;
enquickened with love.
When you look into my eyes,
press your lips softly to mine,
and hold me deep
in your embrace.
J.P. Wiegand
© Emittravel 1989

The words you have just read describe the woman I'm about to spend the rest of my life with. She is truly an answer to my prayers. For years now, I have prayed, "Lord, prepare me for my mate, as you prepare her for me." I've (jokingly) thought that she MUST need a lot of work - it was taking so long! (The truth of the matter? It was I who needed the work.) At our 20 year reunion, Lisa and I connected. We knew OF each other in high school, but didn't KNOW each other. Since our reunion, we have definitely gotten to each know one another. So close we have become, that on Friday, September 16th, I proposed marriage - and she (I'm humbled to say) accepted my proposal and has agreed to honor me as my wife.

This one is for you, my love! I give you my forever - this day and always. With all of my heart I am yours. You are the sweetest poem ever written. I am in awe of you. I love you! -j.p.

© Emittravel 2017

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Untitled Unblog Unpost #4

I was all ready to sit down and do some writing, when I discovered in my Twitter feed that (yesterday, 20170916) the Cleveland Indians officially became the American League Central Champions for 2017. That's the second year in a row.

So, instead of a comprehensive take on the latest from my brain box, I'm going to go watch some more baseball.

Because, you know, baseball!

© Emittravel 2017

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Stuff My Brain Says #81

So far it seems like every GOP endeavor has fallen short or outright failed. And I think I know the reason why. It’s really quite simple. You see, nobody in the GOP really thought that Donald Trump was going to be President. They believed what the media said (that Hillary Clinton had over a 90% chance of winning the election - based on their polls).

The GOP had eight years to prepare things like Repeal and Replace and did nothing. Why? Because not only did they know they did not have an actual challenger to the Democrats, they knew that with Hillary Clinton as President, they would NEVER pass any of their endeavors. So they figured they had at least four more years (if not eight) to actually come up with anything of substance.

As a perfect example of procrastination, the GOP is living proof that there is no minute like the last minute.

© Emittravel 2017

Monday, September 4, 2017

You Really Don’t Want a Democracy

After the 2016 Presidential Election, many were upset that even though Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, Donald Trump took the presidency by winning the Electoral College vote. Cries of “unfair”, and “he’s not my President” rang out; along with a push to eliminate the Electoral College because, after all, we are a Democracy.

Actually, no. We are not a Democracy. We are a Republic. Thus the Electoral College.

I bring this up because we have a current movement that is trying to rewrite history and remove anything deemed offensive from the public eye. Included are statues, flags, and even baseball team mascots.

As a Cleveland Indians fan, I’ve been pummeled by the anti-Wahoo folks for years. Even a recent article I read lumped the mascot with statues of Robert E. Lee as being equally racist. Hogwash!

First off, the Supreme Court has determined that trademarks cannot be considered “hate speech”. So as far as the law is concerned, Chief Wahoo is not hate speech.

Nevertheless, those few are screaming the loudest in hopes to bully a decision in their favor. Even the MLB Commissioner is pressuring the Cleveland Indians owners to remove the mascot.

Dear MLB Commissioner: IF you bow down to the pressure of a few and remove Chief Wahoo from the Cleveland Indians, we the fans will NOT go quietly into the night. Third-party vendors will start making a killing selling Chief Wahoo merchandise - which means the MLB gets none of that sweet, sweet cash.

I for one am getting a bit tired of a few hypocrites calling the shots.

Hypocrites? Yep. Hypocrites.

Go back and reread the first paragraph of this post.

The same folks calling us a democracy don’t really WANT a democracy. Why? Because the majority of people don’t want the mascots removed, or history to be rewritten. And IF we WERE a democracy, you crybabies would have to go away.

It’s called the First Amendment. If you like the idea of freedom of speech, then you have to accept that you will be exposed to speech you disagree with. That gives you a choice: You can either move to a country that does not respect the freedom of speech - which would eliminate you hearing anything that might offend you, or you can go ahead and get thicker skin.

As far as whether or not to remove statues, flags, mascots, or whatever, I direct you to Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations: “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up.” (ascribed to Chesterton by John F. Kennedy).

Do you honestly believe that the people who erected a statue (that includes designing, creating, paying for, and authorizing it) did it BECAUSE they were racist?

"Let's put up a statue to show the world how racist we are. Good idea, huh? All in favor?"

"Aye!"

That’s hard to believe. Just because you are offended by CHANGING the original intention, does NOT give you the right to force the majority to accept your cries as truth.

So, before you “like” a tweet or Facebook post that encourages the removal of this or that, do a little research to find out WHY this or that was erected in the first place.

And if you don’t agree, go ahead, move to North Korea, and shout that statues of their dear leader are racist and hate speech. I’m sure they’ll praise your bravery.

(Idiots.)

© Emittravel 2017